As anyone who has been fortunate enough to have pet in their life can tell you, animals are capable of experiencing the same sorts of emotions that we people do. If we think back on our pets’ lives, we can recall times when they showed love, joy, annoyance, and on occasion, fear and anger. Less often, and fortunately it is less often, cats demonstrate that they can also experience as complex and profound an emotion as grief. A poignant example of this is what happened after a cat named Chuey lost her battle with jaw cancer.
Chuey and Big Boy were feline roommates who, like many cats who have to live together under one roof, didn’t always get along. Big Boy is a large, energetic, rambunctious orange tabby and he had a habit of constantly pestering Chuey for attention. Chuey was never interested in playing along and she made this quite clear. Despite all the conflict, the two cats were actually fairly close, perhaps more so than they or anyone else realized.
Sadly, Chuey lost her battle with cancer of the jaw. Her human parents didn’t want to have a situation where she suddenly vanished from Big Boy’s life, just disappearing without any explanation. Who knows, he might go looking for her, escape from the house and get lost or hit by a car. So they decided that the thing to do was to give him some closure and a chance to say goodbye. They wrapped Chuey in a worn blanket and then allowed Big Boy into the room so he could see his old friend one last time. What happened next was heartbreaking but it vividly shows that our pets have emotional needs, especially at times of tragic loss.
Do you think Chuey’s human parents did the right thing? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments at Facebook.